What is a “Glory Hole”?
A glory hole is a partition or hole often found in the cubicles of public restrooms. The glory hole’s purpose is to allow people to peep on each other on either side of adjacent cubicles while one or both of them is masturbating. It also functions as a way for people to have oral or penetrative sex while maintaining a degree of separation or anonymity. It is a common theme in pornographic movies.
The term “glory hole” has had several definitions dating as far back in time as 1825. It was defined then as a “drawer or box where things are heaped together in a disorderly manner”. The term leir from Old Norse, which was derived as glorien in Middle English, roughly translates to “opening through which the interior of a furnace may be seen and reached.” Through the evolution of the term, it has since come to be defined as a way to view or interact discreetly between a barrier.
The erotic nature of glory holes may be associated with the use of total anonymity in sex. It allows participants to objectify each other to suit their personal needs and soothe their sexual apprehensions. To be more specific, some individuals find a sort of “safe space” that allows them to engage in sexual relations without feeling and thinking about the guilt and stigma associated with it. People who developed homophobia as a result of the spread of misinformation on the LGBT community sought the physical and psychological barrier provided by glory holes.
Gloryholes do not directly relate to BDSM, though they are common to see in fetish clubs or dungeons. They can be a way for a Dom or Master to watch their sub please a number of people anonymously. Conversely, they can be used in consensual nonconsent scenarios where a submissive is restrained and used through a glory hole. It is also common to use gloryholes in anonymous encounters or while cruising.
Dos and Don’ts
Since glory holes are most likely located in public restrooms and other areas that the general public can access, the risk of transmitting infection and diseases is high. Surveillance is installed almost everywhere nowadays. Engaging in public sex through glory holes may be captured by authorities and establishment owners. Whether the captured footage is publicized via the news and social media or not, it can be still be embarrassing for the people involved.
At times, sexual advances done through glory holes may also be rejected. Check first if the person on the other side of the hole is willing to partake in any type of sexual interaction.
Related Practices & Fetishes
Cottaging is an anonymous sexual act that involves men and usually takes place in public restrooms. The term is a gay slang that originated in the UK. Cottages were used in the Victorian era to refer to a public toilet. Grope boxes are a piece of BDSM furniture that submissives are placed into. They have multiple holes through which a sub can be touched, potentially anonymously, by strangers.